partly cloudy

I find it strange and interesting that I can feel so different from one day to the next, for no obvious reason.

Yesterday was Saturday.  I woke up with my heart fluttering and my chest tight.  I was nervous until midday when I exercised.

Today is Sunday.  And while I had a similar night to Friday last night, and I have a similar day ahead of me today, I feel very different.

I am calm.

I even drank a second cup of coffee.  Watched a movie.  And don’t feel anxious about what I need to do today, or the thought of going to work tomorrow.

You never know how you’re going to feel.  Just remember nothing is permanent.  The clouds may drift away and there is only sunshine.

Each day is fluid and new, so never lose hope.

Depressed? Take Action!

I just finished reading “How to deal with depression: Start taking action ! (Depression, Stress, Mood Disorders, Negativity, Fight them all and become Happier)” by Peter Constantin.  It is an insight guide for both those that are depressed and their loved ones.

One idea that was new to me was ‘brainswitching.’  It’s so simple, and makes sense that it would be effective.

The best way to think аnоthеr thоught inѕtеаd оf a dерrеѕѕivе thоught iѕ tо uѕе the ѕimрlе соgnitivе behavioral technique саllеd ‘brainswitching.’ Chооѕе any nеutrаl or nоnѕеnѕе thought, in advance, tо have ‘аt thе ready’ to ѕubѕtitutе for any dерrеѕѕivе thоught that pops up. When you’re depressed, уоu’rе in tоо muсh раin tо think one uр.   Make it a thought thаt will nоt stimulate any negative emotional аѕѕосiаtiоn. It соuld bе A silly ѕоng оr rhyme frаgmеnt likе ‘Rоw, row, rоw уоur bоаt’ A mantra like ‘Om Padme’ A nеutrаl оr nоnѕеnѕе wоrd likе ‘hippity-hop, ‘green frоg,’ or ‘yadda уаddа’

It mау seem ѕillу to suggest that ѕауing ‘grееn frоg’ over and оvеr tо yourself саn gеt rid оf depression, but thеrе’ѕ a scientific rеаѕоn fоr thе exercise. Thinking a nеutrаl or nоnѕеnѕе thоught interrupts the depressive thоught pattern аnd wеаkеnѕ it.


I also liked the part on self-soothing tools, and building your toolbox for a rainy day:


By planning аhеаd, уоu’rе tаking соntrоl оf how you will nоw handle the less thаn ideal timеѕ in уоur life. Think if it akin tо hurriсаnе оr еаrthԛuаkе preparedness; уоu gеt some wаtеr, fооd, аnd bаttеriеѕ tо hаvе on hаnd. Fоr уоur еmоtiоnаl wоrld to bе ѕuссеѕѕful, you’re gаthеring thе emotional equivalents оf thеѕе fоr times of diѕtrеѕѕ.

Passion vs. stability?

Think of a society that is genetically-engineered, where drugs are used to erase any kind of human discomfort, sports are the major distraction and every person is conditioned from an early age to accept it all without question. It might sound familiar, but this story, Brave New World, was written by Aldous Huxley in 1931!

Huxley creates a futuristic world where the purpose behind every aspect of society is stability, by keeping each person content in their role.

“that is the secret of happiness and virtue – liking what you’ve got to do. All the conditioning aims at that: making people like their unescapable social destiny.”

One concept is this society’s promotion of promiscuity over monogamy (Looking back, I can’t believe this was required reading at my high school!).  This excerpt describes the high pressure of monogamy vs. promiscuity as many slow trickles –

“Think of water under pressure in a pipe.”  They thought of it.  “I pierce it once,” said the Controller.  “What a jet!”

He pierced it twenty times. There were twenty piddling little fountains.

Mother, monogamy, romance. High spurts the fountain; fierce and foamy the wild jet. The urge has but a single outlet.

A drug called soma is used by everyone, at any time, for the smallest mental discomfort. Here Huxley explains how drugs are used to cover any gap in activity to keep people content –

“Work, play – at sixty our powers and tastes are what they were at seventeen. Old men in the bad old days used to renounce, retire, take to religion, spend their time reading, thinking – thinking!”

One of the sources of societal instability in this world is art. Therefore, it must be eliminated. Here, the Savage, an illegitimate child raised in the natural world, argues this point with Mustapha Mond, Resident World Controller of Western Europe –

“Because our world is not the same as Othello’s world. You can’t make flivvers without steel – and you can’t make tragedies without social instability.”

The Savage was silent for a little. “All the same,” he insisted obstinately, “Othello’s good, Othello’s better than those feelies.”

“Of course it is,” the Controller agreed. “But that’s the price we have to pay for stability. You’ve got to choose between happiness and what people used to call high art.”

The God they worship is Ford, in the image of Henry Ford – the creator of the Model T and mass production.

“Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t.”

In this excerpt, we have Mond, arguing with the Savage, further defending this brave new world

“We prefer to do things comfortably.”

“But I don’t want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness, I want sin.”

“In fact,” said Mustafa Mond, “you’re claiming the right to be unhappy.”

“All right then,” said the Savage defiantly, “I’m claiming the right to be unhappy.”

It makes the reader question the price of passion, choice and human suffering vs. contentment and stability. Anxiety can bring a great deal of suffering, making you wonder – would living in a world like this be worth it?

“Happiness is a hard master – particularly other people’s happiness. A much harder master, if one isn’t conditioned to accept it unquestioningly, than truth.”